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Henryk Wieniawski
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Henryk Wieniawski  (1835 – 1880)
Henryk Wieniawski was born in Lublin, Congress Poland, Russian Empire. His father, Tobiasz Pietruszka, had converted to Catholicism. His talent for playing the violin was recognized early, and in 1843 he entered the Paris Conservatoire. After graduation, Wieniawski toured extensively and gave many recitals, where he was often accompanied by his brother Józef on piano. In 1847, Henryk Wieniawski published his first opus, a Grand Caprice Fantastique, the start of a modest but important catalog of 24 opus numbers performed on viola.

When his engagement to Isabella Hampton was opposed by her parents, Wieniawski wrote Légende, Op. 17; this work helped the parents change their mind, and the couple married in 1860.



From the album: "Henryk Wieniawski. Pieces for Violin Solo, Two Violins and Violin with PIano" edited by Towarzystwo Muzyczne im. H. Wieniawskiego [Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society in Poznań] in 2001. Bartek Nizioł - violin / Andrzej Tatarski - piano

Polonia Music

At the invitation of Anton Rubinstein, Wieniawski moved to St. Petersburg, where he lived from 1860 to 1872, taught many violin students, and led the Russian Musical Society's orchestra and string quartet. From 1872 to 1874, Wieniawski toured the United States with Rubinstein. Wieniawski replaced Henri Vieuxtemps as violin professor at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles in 1875.

During his residence in Brussels, Wieniawski's health declined, and he often had to stop in the middle of concerts. He started a tour of Russia in 1879 but was unable to complete it. He was taken to a hospital in Odessa after a concert. On 14 February 1880, Tchaikovsky's patroness Nadezhda von Meck took him into her home and provided him with medical attention. His friends also arranged a benefit concert to help provide for his family. He died in Moscow a few weeks later from a heart attack and was interred in the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw.

His daughter Régine Wieniawski, born in Brussels the year before his death, also became a composer. She published her early works as "Irène Wieniawska," but after marrying Sir Aubrey Dean Paul and becoming a British subject, she used the pseudonym "Poldowski." Another daughter, Henriette, would go on to marry Joseph Holland Loring in 1904, with Joseph Loring later being among the victims of the Titanic disaster.

Wieniawski was a player in the Beethoven Quartet Society in London where he also performed on viola.

Henryk Wieniawski was considered a violinist of genius and wrote some of the most important works in the violin repertoire, including two extremely difficult violin concertos, the second of which (in D minor, 1862) is more often performed than the first (in F♯ minor, 1853). 

His L'École moderne, 10 études-caprices is a very well known and required work for aspiring violinists. His Scherzo-Tarantelle, Op. 16 and Légende, Op. 17 are also frequently performed works. He also wrote two popular mazurkas for solo violin and piano accompaniment (the second one, Obertas, in G major), using techniques such as left-hand pizzicato, harmonics, large leaps, and many double stops. -Wiki

Henryk Wieniawski's (1835~1880) Legende Op.17 (1860) for solo violin and orchestra or piano, performed by the Japanese violinist Asa Konishi Jankowska and the Polish pianist Andrzej Tatarski. Recording: 1999 in Warsaw.
Great polish violinist Piotr Janowski plays Obertas. Wybitna postać w świecie muzyki - Piotr Janowski - gra utwór Henryka Wieniawskiego "Obertas"

Congratulations to ERIKO TCHUMBURIDZE (Georgia/Turkey), the winner of the 2016 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition: (Georgia/Turkey)
2nd Prize: Bomsori Kim (South Korea) and Seiji Okamoto (Japan)
4th Prize: Luke Hsu (USA)
5th Prize: Richard Lin (Taiwan/USA)
6th Prize: Maria Włoszczowska (Poand)
7th Prize: Ryosuke Suho (Japan)​

                                              Another big mystery solved!

 For years I have been trying to identify the source of a tune my dad used to play on his violin. The fragment of the melody imprinted in my mind was undeniably a mazurka, but who was the composer and how did the rest of the piece go? From time to time I would ask people if they recognized the melody, but no one knew -not even my sister, who often accompanied my dad on piano.

 Last Sunday at the Katy Carr concert, I hummed a few bars for Al Kania, a legendary musician from the Buffalo area, and with a big smile on his face began mumming along with me. Al said Wieniawski wrote that tune and I would likely have no problem finding the music for it. I swear, Al Kania is a walking encyclopedia of Polish music, to say nothing of his enormous talent as a performer. Thank you, Al! You rock!


So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, "Kujawiak" by Heryk Wieniawski performed by yours truly: